It’s time to invest back into our community.
2020, it’s been quite a year! How many times have you said that recently? If you’re like me, you’re getting pretty tired of the PP&P…..politics, pandemic and protests. I miss the summer of Kenosha’s Harbor Market, Downtown Kenosha‘s amazing events and enjoying the beauty that is around our city.
Not that it’s not important but after watching the news for awhile I sometimes start to feel frustrated and a little sad.
Nevermore so was the case after the riots in our hometown a few weeks ago that left parts of Downtown Kenosha and uptown decimated. Many emotions were running through everybody’s heads and they still are. I came to a point where I just needed to get out and go take in the situation. So I took a bike ride and rode through the downtown and uptown scenes, just taking it in. I kept thinking “this is just crazy, we’ve got to do something but what? Where to start?” Then a funny thing happened. I started running into people that I knew. Some were doing the same thing as I was but others were out rolling up their sleeves and starting to help.
I ran into Francisco Loyola, the Director of Creative Space in downtown. They were helping the downtown and uptown coordinate a volunteer effort to paint the boarded up buildings to try to change the scene and create some positivity. I asked if he needed some help and he said “for sure.” I told him I would be there the next morning to help out. So my kids and I rolled up our sleeves and started helping out. I spent that Friday helping him coordinate people to paint boards, directing them where to go and more. It was awesome! The community outpouring was what I know Kenosha to be. This was the heart of Kenosha – people helping and coming out for the good of the city. This was our community, not those outsiders that came in deliberately to ruin things and create chaos. I felt that this day helped me, personally, as much as I was helping out. It showed me that there still is GOOD in Kenosha, not that I really ever doubted it but this just reinforced it 100 times! Helping and riding around reopened my eyes to everything that we have to offer in this town.
And so I thought we are really lucky to have:
- A beautiful lakefront
- An outdoor market… make that 2!
- An ever-growing downtown with shops, restaurants and bars. From the Wine Knot to Ono to Gordon’s Sports Bar & Grill and more.
- A summer league baseball team – the Kenosha Kingfish!
- Awesome universities right in our backyard (Carthage, Parkside, Gateway and Herzing)
- Parks throughout the city and county, such as Petrifying Springs Park with the popular Biergarten.
- Golf courses throughout the city/county from the Kenosha Country Club to the Washington Park Municipal Golf Course.
- A healthy creative arts scene including music, drama and arts
- Multiple leagues and clubs for our children to participate in sports or you name it.
- Wonderful libraries
- A strong school system, whether the public system KUSD or private schools such as St. Joseph Catholic Academy.
- Our central location between major cities like Milwaukee and Chicago for easy day trips or weekend getaways.
- And much much more!
These places, the people, the COMMUNITY and more is why I love this area. Kenosha really is GOOD place to live, work and play and it was upsetting to see us portrayed us in a different light to the world. But to see the community come together after gave me renewed hope and reminded me me why I call Kenosha home.
Don’t get me wrong, change is needed but I feel that we can and will work through what and how that change happens. Kenosha is a town where everyone knows everyone. That fact is what makes it such a strong knit community.
Let’s now keep that and rebuild it even stronger.
I urge everyone to get out and do something. Invest in your community by giving your time, talent and treasure.
Support the community by doing three things.
- First, take some “time” to go out and visit your local businesses. Take in a dinner downtown out on a patio, followed by a stroll by the lakefront paths and then wander downtown to do some shopping. Or patronize any local business throughout our beautiful city. These businesses are the backbone of our community and at the heart of what makes us special.
- Second, Volunteer. Use your “talent” to help some of the local organizations that need it. There are a wide range of organizations that would love to have your support from our local YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to the United Way where they can direct you to help in an area of need.
- Third give/donate your “treasure” directly to organizations that are in need or have a special place in your heart. We have so many needy non-profits in town that do so much good. They need our support.
Your investment will make our community stronger and keep the GOOD shining on Kenosha!